The Counselling Process
Updated: Oct 18, 2021
Once you have made your initial enquiry, you will be offered an assessment session, where we will explore together what is going on for you, how you view your physical and mental health plus some lifestyle queries.The outcome from this session will be to advise your suitability for individual counselling, couple counselling or recommend a more suitable service.
The time frame for counselling varies enormously. It can be a short piece of work about improving communication (6-12 weeks), a medium number of sessions may be needed for work such as trying to figure out what is keeping you in a repeated pattern of behaviour (12-24 weeks) or long term open ended to tackle ingrained thinking or behaviours with complex origins.
BACP recommends that once a couple has an assessment and is approved to go on to receive couple counselling, then the next step is for them to each have a one to one confidential session with their counsellor in the following weeks. I follow this practice and use the individual sessions, combined with your assessment, to consider with you what are the goals of the counselling sessions.
Supervision is an essential undertaking for counsellors. The counsellor will meet frequently, usually monthly, with their supervisor to discuss their client's issues and the interventions they have chosen. This is a process of checks and balances. The supervisor can examine the paths chosen by the counsellor and support the counsellor in adhering to ethical standards and procedures. It is entirely confidential and it is my practice not to use names in discussing clients issues with my supervisor who is BACP registered.
Many counsellors use forms to collect initial information about you, your relationship issues, wellbeing and communication. Difficulties in relationships can take a toll on our wellbeing and our wellbeing can be a contributing issue in our relationship. Both of these can be improved or worsened by our engagement in communication with others and therefore by answering a short survey your counsellor can get a picture of the level of distress you are experiencing.
Above all, counselling is intended as a method of relieving distress and achieving personal growth and hopefully, a positive step towards a better future.